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Jenny Holloway

Survivor

On December 23rd, 2015, I was having severe pain on the left side of my upper abdomen. I went to my doctor who said I was fine. (I thought I had pancreatitis.) That evening I was in so much pain I was sweating and couldn’t stand. We called emergency services. They said I was in pain. Three hours after arriving in the ER, a nurse came in and I told her why I was there. They had only put down nausea. She hurried away then returned with a big bottle of contrast. (OK ERs don’t do CTs with contrast usually.) plus they drew labs.

I was whisked to CT and 10 minutes after my sca,n I was told I had double pneumonia. Again no symptoms or wheezing. (Sepsis and Pneumonia) I was admitted immediately. On Christmas Eve, I started running a fever. I never run fevers even with MRSA. They had to use ice packs and I was very anxious. On Christmas, a doctor came in and told me I was trying to die. What? He said I had sepsis and they moved me up to the ICU. None too soon. About 3 hours after transferring I was delirious, unable to breathe and I coded. I was in and out of it for several days. They were trying to find out what caused the sepsis, so they had me do a full body MRI. Ok, very difficult with double pneumonia, to lay on your back. I thought I was going to drown. It was the pneumonia that gave me sepsis.

Eventually I was transferred down and had problems maintaining my oxygen. Was discharged on 5 percent oxygen.

On the 18th of February, I got up in the middle of the night to eat. I had an anaphylactic reaction and lost consciousness. When I came to I dialed 911. I’m glad I told them I recently had sepsis. This time I had septic shock. I called my case manager deliriously from the ER. The doctor came in and was going to put an IV line in my neck but they couldn’t find a vein because I was in shock. Lost consciousness. Woke up in waiting area for ICU. Nurse came in with PICC line and I started on three antibiotics and stuff to get my blood pressure up. 60/30. Was told I was sickest person in hospital.

I survived sepsis twice. The first time was pure coincidence, in the ER they usually don’t order the tests I had. That saved my life. The second time they worked so quick!

 

UPDATE: April 5, 2018

I have provided a previous story of having survived sepsis two times. Well in total since December 2015 I have had 4 bouts of sepsis. The last two times I went to a different hospital and received very rapid treatment. The last time receiving a total of 56 bags of two types of antibiotics. The doctors still don’t know why I am getting sepsis so much but I am visiting specialists. I am very lucky that the hospital has a flag on my record to test me for sepsis as soon as I enter the ER; if I have rapid breathing, high heart rate, high lactic acid etc. In fact last month I went in and was lucky enough to have it caught before I went septic and only had lactic acidosis. I just pray that people who get sepsis can read this and see that with rapid treatment and knowing the symptoms that you can survive this.

The last time I was septic I only had persistent nausea in the morning and by lunch my heart rate was very high. By the time I went into the ER at 4:30 I was septic. It hit very fast and hard. Please know the signs. Rapid breathing, high heart rate, fever (sometimes) mine run low but most people have high fevers, and high white blood cells and lactic acid in the blood. Please, if you think you have a bladder infection get treated, it is the #1 cause of sepsis.

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